Archive for the ‘If I ran the zoo …’ Category

My brother called this morning to tell me that my Dad’s surgery went good – uh – WTH? I didn’t even know he was having surgery. :: blank stare ::

He’s had this thing in his hands. Apparently it’s like an extra tendon that grows a little like ivy does. It starts to attach itself to the existing tendons and then brings everything in nice and tight. For years we’ve given Dad shit because when he closed his hands, his middle finger still stood at attention – essentially flipping the bird to all in his view.

So now that the tendon with it’s own mind is moving to his thumb, the doctors have told him that if he doesn’t do something about it soon, his hands will both be balled up into fists. Nice!

He had the surgery done yesterday and this morning he was back at work. You see, my family doesn’t relax or rest very well. It’s just not in our genes apparently. The doctor called him at home to check on him and my step mom said he was in bed (lie lie lie). They said, well we just wanted to remind him that he shouldn’t be driving and he should have that arm elevated for the next 48 hours. Nice … he’s out driving around to job sites – haha. He said he can’t just sit there and do nothing. Which is true … he can’t. He’s never been able to. He told me, “I’m just driving around town, I’m wearing a seat belt and I’ve got an airbag.” :: rolling eyes :: … it’ll never be any different … that’s who he is.

When I mentioned before that I had a hard time just “being”… well … I guess there is no doubt where I get it from. Nobody in my family can just “be”.

If I ran the zoo, I’d take away his keys.


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So I didn’t try the meat/sleeping pill combo suggested in the last comment thread, but we did decide to try something different … maybe a lil kinder and gentler ;-).

We created the “Stop Barking Solution” made with tobasco, water and some other hot sauce and put it in a spray bottle. We decided to only squirt them a little bit when they stand up and look OVER our wall (their heads and shoulders visible) and bark at the same time. That way they will learn that we aren’t happy to see them and that their behavior is not rewarded. Ron did this years ago with a neighbor dog that he had a problem with and it worked wonderful. He said that the dog would get a lil of that hot sauce in his mouth/nose and it would sting just enough to make him retreat and eventually, he could go into his own backyard and the dog didn’t even care. Perfect! A solution that will help train them without hurting them.

So today was the first time I tried it. Oreo (the black dog) was hopping up and down like he was on a pogo stick when I let our dogs out. I said no to Bella (our black dog) and got her to steer clear from the wall and I told the neighbor dogs who were pogo-ing at our fence a very stern “no”. THEY did not listen and continued to bark. So I got the spray bottle and squirted them in the mouth a couple times. Brown lab didn’t stick his head up again … might be a quick learner after all? (Probably not … he is after all a brown lab.) Oreo just kept jumping and barking – a proverbial puppy pogo – imagine me … at the fair playing that squirt gun clown game and you’ve got a pretty good picture of how it went.  I squirted him a couple more times and he flinched a little bit but kept on. Our dogs were done, so I brought them inside and then the barking was quiet for a bit. Ron said it’ll take a bit to work, so I will keep on with it to try to train them.

They still barked throughout the day (as usual) but we have to take it one step at a time and teaching them to not bark when we are out there with our dogs is priority one.

I’ve filed a couple complaints against them already and we’ve tried to ask them to not allow them to bark non-stop, we’ve turned the hose on them and still … the owners don’t care to shout at the very least, “no bark”? I think my next thing is to type up directions on how to file a complaint online and to deliver them to every house that’s in our area. I’m SURE I’m not the only one who would love for it to stop.

If I ran the zoo, I’d request a new neighbor who knew how to work with their dog(s).

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 Zac had an extra credit assignment in his Math class over the weekend that he could do. He’s looking for all the extra points he can round up, so we decided to take him. Saturday didn’t happen because Ron and I decided to spring clean (including shampooing the couches, pillows, carpet in our bedroom, etc.) to help with the allergies in our house. So Sunday we decided to go to the museum … on Easter.  Here’s a picture of Ron and Zac out front with the streetlight exhibit – not sure what that is about … but it was cool – haha.

I didn’t know that if you go after 5 pm, it’s free to get in. ROCK ON!! We spent a couple of hours there. First we went to the check out the exhibit that had geometric shapes. He was supposed to check them out and choose one that he liked, then answer some questions about it, etc. He chose this cool one that was called, I think, “Big Blue”. As we were standing there, I asked if there was any way we could take a picture for a school project (without the flash). At first, the security guard said no, but then, as he heard us talking about the piece and it’s dimensions and Zac said that he’d sketch it, he said, ok, hurry up and take one without the flash- haha. So I did … with my blackberry phone (so really, it’s not the greatest).

After that, we went through the Japanese art section and then on to Contemporary Art. I loved the giant Baloon Dog and the Cracked Egg display – those were fun. No pictures there though – haha.

We ended up staying until about 7:30 and really only left before they closed because we hadn’t eatten dinner yet.

A picture of the three of us before we left … me … no make-up.

I loved the lights when we came in … but they looked even cooler at night when they came on … check this out …

Not the traditional Easter we’re used to (usually we head to Visalia to be with family), but it was still kind of fun to do something totally different and out of the ordinary.

The only thing I’d change at LACMA if I ran the zoo would be to make postcards of the geometric exhibit so that kids could take them home when they are working on projects. THEN you wouldn’t have to try to sneak to take a picture (I’m sure not ALL the guards were as nice).

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I’d fix the author buttons on the side in that little box! (I’d point to the right, but it’s now GONE)

Since I don’t, I asked Ron to create a new “Author Page” (look up :: points up :: by the “About us” tab) for us. Now my somewhat OCD ways will not frustrate me every day when I look at our page.

Look :: points to the right :: … I fixed it!!  I had to shorten all our names but was able to use the code Ron copied for me to keep it there on the side.  Now we have the best of both worlds 😀

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Today for some reason my modem decided to stop communicating with internet.  If there could have been a worse day for this to happen, I can’t think of it.  So for a couple of hours, I unplugged and plugged in cables, turned things on and off to no avail.  I bite the bullet and decide I have to call my ISP for help.  Dreading it all the way I dial.  Here is an abbreviated recounting of the call:

A very friendly automated male voice “AMV” answers, “”Thanks you for calling BIG COMPANY, to help us connect to your account, please state or key your phone number.”

ME:  Made the mistake of speaking rather than keying the number

AMV: “Let me repeat that number.”  (He repeats it back replacing the 2 with a nine.)  “Is this correct?”

Come on with what accent does two sound like nine?  I grew up near Chicago. Twoooo NINNNNNE.  Alike?  You’ve got to be kidding me. 

ME:  No.

AMV:  “I’m sorry my fault, could you reenter or repeat that for me?” 

ME:  gets smart and keys the number.

AMV:  Could you state in simple terms what the problem is.

ME:  I can’t connect to the internet

AMV:  Sounds like you are having problems with the internet.  I’ll have to connect you to our high speed internet department.


Line transfers

A woman’s automated voice “WAV” picks up.

WAV:  Could you state or key your phone number?

ME:  Having learned my lesson the last time I key the number.

WAV:  I’m going to list 5 categories, pick the one that most closely matches your problem. 

ME:  I listen while she rattles through things that have nothing to do with my problem,

WAV:  Finally Says Internet Connectivity.

ME:  Yes Internet Connectivity

WAV:  OKay so you are having problems with internet connectivity

ME:  YES, Isn’t that what I just said?

WAV:  Have you been able to connect to the internet before on this line?


WAV:  Let me test your line and modem now, is your modem on?


WAV:  Please hold while we test your line!

ME:  Waiting

WAV:  You need to reset the password on your modem.  We’ve given you a temporary password which is tpc456 (or something like that!)  once you reset your password everything should work.  If you’d like to return to the main menu say main.  If you’ve gotten the help you need hang up.

ME:  Swearing! I don’t know how to reset the password.

WOMAN:  Goodbye!

ME:  dialing the 800 number again, getting the man, keying the number, saying internet connection, getting the woman, keying my number again, saying internet connectivity.  Now really frustrated I scream out “HUMAN BEING”

WAV:  I could connect you with a human being but we should test your line first.


WAV:  Okay.  If you are disconnected can the human call you at . . .she repeats my number.

ME: WTF!  I’m going to go through all this and get disconnected.  Please lord no!

WAV:  Are you still there? 

ME:  Yes!

WOMAN:  Transferring now.

Finally:  Welcome to BIG COMPANY This is Jeff how can I help you? 

ME:  Jeff thank god!   A real person.  (Jeff is probably in India but who cares he’s a real person!) I’m having problems with my modem and the automated system reset the password but I have no idea how to login using that password.  What do I do?

Jeff:  (Sensing a woman at the end of her rope.)  “I can walk you through that!”

And he did ending 5 hours of frustration!  Bless you Jeff or whatever your real name is–thanks for being the human being at the other end of the phone!

If I ran the zoo, companies would not be able to call automation, customer service.  It only alienates their customers.  If only I had realized that screaming “human being” earlier could have gotten me to Jeff about a half hour sooner!

Where’s the wine to go with this whine?


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This is my first official post and I have to admit to a little post anxiety. This is like that old Queen song:

Mm ba ba de Um bum ba de Um bu bu bum da de Pressure pushing down on me . . .

Mmmm is anyone going to remember that Queen song? (Shakes head.) Through my good friend Karen, I have been invited to join this great group of women in this blog and on what seems like they will be amazing adventures. I’m the honorary Santa Claritan (as I really live in South Pasadena).

Since I don’t have anything really clever to say today, I’ll just pull a couple of random thoughts out of my head and put them here so that I can get past being a first post virgin!

Why does the grocery store insist on having their employees thank me by name? Thank you Mrs. Woodliff. You saved ten cents today with your club card! First of all–I’m not Mrs. Woodliff. I’m not married. Mrs. Woodliff would be my 85 year old mother. I guess when you are over 30, the world thinks you must be married. It is isn’t worth correcting the poor cashier. “Excuse me–that’s Ms. Woodliff to you!” Can you imagine that cashier thinking, “Listen lady, they tell us to greet every customer by name–I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Take your groceries and get the heck out of here!”

Speaking of Dogs. I know Kristy posted on dogs barking. My dog owner pet peeve is all the people who walk their dogs and don’t pick up after them. It is has gotten so bad that when I take my dog for a walk, the minute she squats, I make a big show out of getting the bag out so that any neighbor watching can see that–yes I have a bag and yes I will be picking up after my dog! I found a new way to get to dog owners who are letting their dogs poo and not picking up. When I see them start to walk away. I say, “oh did you run out of bags? Here’s one of mine.” It’s really interesting watching the reaction as you walk toward them with a bag held out–looking at the poo on someone’s yard. Hard for them to walk away now. (Evil laugh!)

Okay so now that I’ve got this first post over with! I can now go bask in the afterglow! Did anyone say wine?


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I’m not much of a sleeper-inner (yes it IS a word), but occassionally, I like to not set our alarm and just wake up when my body is ready to. 

The dogs that live next door don’t seem to agree with this philosophy.  Or maybe it’s their owners? 

About 7 months ago our neighbors decided to take in a dog that lost it’s owner to a terrible accident.  Nice black lab.  Apparently … they felt that Oreo needed a companion or two – ugh.  Next thing we know they have three dogs – Oreo the black lab, Max the brown lab and Chipper the Pit Bull (who seems to be the most MELLOW of them all – he stands on his hind legs and puts his HUGE head on the top of our block wall and just chills out watching us). 

Now don’t get me wrong, we LOVE dogs.  In fact we have two ourselves – one black lab (Bella) and one blond lab (Roxy – whom I’m sure you’ll hear plenty of stories about).  They are mostly indoor dogs, but occassionally we let them out to eat and use the facilities 😉  When we do … their dogs start barking up a storm.  It’s taken us three months of training Bella to not want to EAT them – haha. 

Sorry – back to the topic.  The last two mornings in a row they have let their dogs out and left them out for three hours in the back yard.  What’s this mean to us … Oreo and Max (who has a whistler bark) are barking non stop outside our bedroom window.  I said to Ron this morning, I just want to open up the window and SCREAM, “F*ck you for not being a responsible dog owner”.  Ron laughed and told me I could if it’d really make me feel better, but really, it wouldn’t accomplish anything and she probably wouldn’t hear it over the barking.  Of course he’s right, but I’m going NUTS with the barking. 

If I ran the zoo … I’d take away pet priviledges from owners who don’t take the responsibility seriously!

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